Author ORCID Identifier
Computational and Theoretical Chemistry
Schiff bases are common and important intermediates in many bioenzymatic systems. The mechanism by which they are formed, however, is dependent on the solvent, pH and other factors. In the present study we have used density functional theory methods in combination with appropriate chemical models to get a better understanding of the inherent chemistry of the formation of two Schiff bases that have been proposed to be involved in the catalytic mechanism of porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS), a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of porphyrins. More specifically, we have investigated the uncatalysed reaction of its substrate 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) with a lysine residue for the formation of the P-site Schiff base, and as possibly catalysed by the second active site lysine, water or the 5-ALA itself. It is found that cooperatively both the second lysine and the amino group of the initial 5-ALA itself are capable of reducing the rate-limiting energy barrier to 14.0 kcal mol−1. We therefore propose these to be likely routes involved in the P-site Schiff-base formation in PBGS.
Erdtman, Edvin; Bushnell, Eric Andre; Gauld, James; and Eriksson, Leif A.. (2011). Computational studies on Schiff-base formation: Implications for the catalytic mechanism of porphobilinogen synthase. Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, 963 (2-3), 479-489.
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